Sightings 2020

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3/21 Peter and Patty Hefferan- We have heavily wooded property and have always enjoyed the woodpeckers of all types that make our property their home. We particularly enjoyed a Red-Bellied Woodpecker and family who set up home in a  woodpecker  tree that exactly faces our front porch. We would sit by the hour and and watch the male as he set up home. The two raised a happy family. Well, they are house hunting again. We have every hope that our pecker wood tree will be home again to a Red-Bellied Woodpecker family. We hear his call every day and our fingers are crossed.  We will keep you posted.

3/21 Karyn Cichoki- Saw the first Tree Swallows of the season today.  There were a couple of Black Ducks and several pairs of Common Mergansers along with all the Mute Swans, Canada Geese and Mallards on pond 2.  A few Spring Peepers were calling. The Bald Eagles have finally started to incubate and both were on the nest today.

3/21 Marianne Ofenloch- Happy spring morning to all! There are signs of the new season everywhere, from flowers to young green grass to migratory birds arriving with each new frontal system. A male American Goldfinch sporting a lot of his spring gold brightened the feeder during the gray morning on Friday. The Brown-headed Cowbirds have returned to the yard, which is more a “lowlight” than a highlight. Species returning to Culvers and Swartswood Lakes have included Double-crested Cormorant, Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, Red-breasted Merganser, Long-tailed Duck, and Eastern Phoebe. A pair of Northern Shovelers were at Hainesville Wildlife Mgmt Area for a few days; as far as I know, that was the first time the species has been seen there. American Woodcocks are performing around the county at dusk, and Killdeer are courting in many fields during the day. Resident Mute Swans, Canada Geese, and Great Blue Herons are all building or tending nests, while many waterfowl species are pairing, with drakes calling and displaying their finery. Each day will bring something new, so enjoy the hope that comes with the season, and be well!

3/21 Alice Piatek and Alan Gutmore- We have a Red-bellied woodpecker drumming daily on one of the oak trees in front of our home.  We continue to have Dark-eyed juncos.  Visitors include Downy woodpeckers, Black-capped chickadees, Tufted titmice, White-throated sparrows, House sparrows, American goldfinches, Northern Cardinals, Bluejays, American robins, Wild Turkey and Black vultures soaring.

3/21 Donna and Don Traylor- The birds certainly knew it was the first day of Spring. Yesterday at Lusscroft Farm in Wantage Township we heard the following: Carolina wren, Song and Field Sparrows, Pileated woodpecker and Eastern phoebe. Later, driving down Roy Road in Wantage, the male American kestrel was sitting on the wire. On the way back up the road, we sighted a female kestrel. A moment later the male kestrel appeared and they commenced making little kestrels!

Spring peepers were very loud in our yard last night. Wood ducks are swimming in our stream. Still are a good number of dark-eyed juncos and white-throated sparrows, too.

3/21 Fred Weber-About 60 Scaup sp. (bad shimmer), and 20 Long-tailed Ducks in one flock. 3 Horned Grebes, female Red-breasted Merganse

3/20 Matt Skalla- Had a flock of 24 Snow geese in a corn field off Limecrest-Randazzo Rd (on border of Lafayette Township.    Something I hadn’t seen before was 22 of the 24 were blue-phase geese.

3/19 Russ Edwards-  I headed to Liberty Loop hoping to see the Sandhill Cranes which have been reported for the past few days; did not see them but had 2 Great Blue Heron, Northern Pintail (8 on the back pond and several on the main pond), at least 8 pair Blue Winged-Teal in one group and several more in another, Mallard, Canada Geese, 1 male Belted Kingfisher, Red-winged blackbirds, 2 Red-tailed Hawk (one circling the west side of the loop, other in dead tree on NY side of Oil City Rd., Turkey Vulture (circling farm to the east of the loop), 4 Mute Swan;  a muskrat which drove the dog nuts (but no partridge in a pear tree)

I would add that yesterday at Liberty Look from the Oil City viewing area, we had several Black Ducks and one Ruddy Duck.

3/19 Wade and Sharon Wander- On Thursday, March 19, we saw a small flock of Rusty Blackbirds at Kittatinny Valley State Park. From the parking lot on Limecrest Road  walk south toward the old barn. We saw the flock in the swamp just south of the barn. You may hear their squeaky calls before you see them. Rusty Blackbird is one of the most seriously declining species of moths and land birds in North American.

3/19 Karyn Cichoki- We are up to six American Goldfinches.  It appeared that the batch of Dark-eyed Juncos that have been in the yard all winter had moved on and now we have another batch that arrived yesterday singing away.  There are lots of White-throated Sparrows, more than we have had all winter so I guess they are moving through as well.

The Mourning Dove is sitting on its so called nest, six twigs on the crossover of two Cedar branches.  The Coopers Hawk was hunting in the yard again yesterday and I heard an Eastern Bluebird and Turkey calling from our neighbor’s yard.

The Red-bellied Woodpecker is once again using our gutters for its sounding board and the Downy Woodpecker is drumming on the telephone pole.

3/19 Eileen and Glenn Mahler- today we checked out waterfowl at Swartswood Lake:  Canada Geese, buffleheads, several mute swans, several Common Mergansers, a pair of Hooded Mergansers, a group of Ring-necked Ducks and our first of the year, 3 Pied-billed Grebes.

3/18 Donna and Don Traylor Yesterday our first ruby-crowned kinglet made an appearance. Today I couldn’t believe my eyes when a pileated woodpecker landed on the suet  cake and started to chow down. Wood ducks arrived back a week ago in what used to be a stream but has become a beaver pond! So it feels like Spring is quickly approaching- there is hope.

-3/17- Photo taken at Lake Tamarack by Jim Winters & submitted by Alice Piatekwodu


3/17 Fred Weber- Pair Long-tailed Ducks Culver Lake mid day

3/17 Patricia Hefferan- Two kingfishers on the wire over Winding Brook Farm (Rte 565) seen today. We have been watching these birds for 20 years. They are apparently very long lived. 😁

3/17 Matt Skalla- Had a Long-tailed Duck this morning on pond 2 at Hyper Humus.long-tail

3/17 Mary Clauss- Around 4:30 today we saw 6 Sandhill Cranes at Liberty Loop, 2 young and 4 adults. Looking out from the parking lot they were about halfway up the left side (around the point where you can see a little farm with a barn and silo off to the left in the distance). IMG_1148

3/15 Karyn Cichoki- Today I had a female American Kestrel and Eastern Meadowlark sitting on the wire alongside the road.

3/10 Karyn Cichoki- The Song Sparrow that I spotted in late December that is missing a foot was back under the feeder yesterday.  This morning I noticed a Mourning Dove on the front lawn picking up sticks and flying into one of our Cedar trees with them.  This is the first time that I’ve noticed them doing this in the yard.  When I was growing up on LI we sometimes found eggs lying in the grass alongside our family home.  My father kept his long ladders hung up against the house and the doves would make their version of a nest, a few sticks put on part of the latter.  Because there was nothing to really hold the eggs in the nest, they rolled off.

3/10 Russ Edwards- A lone snow goose on Wawayanda Lake this morning (when the weather was at it’s bleakest).

3/10 Karyn Cichoki- My husband, Don, has been working in the garage and this week the Carolina Wren has been checking out the inside.  This morning there were 3 hanging around the outside, singing.  Yesterday I noticed that there were sticks in the Carolina Wren next box and today when I looked at it I could see a stick moving and up popped the wren, looked at me for a few seconds before it flew off. I still haven’t heard any Spring Peepers calling but last night I finally heard Wood Frogs calling.  They sound like ducks quacking in the woods.
3/6 Terry McQuillin- The feeders have been extremely active recently with birds of all sizes including: Common Grackles, Red-winged Black Birds, Cardinals, Tufted Titmice, White-breasted Nuthatches, Black-capped Chickadees, House Finches, Eastern Goldfinches, Slate-colored Juncos, and Downey Woodpeckers.

We’ve also had American Robins fly by along with Bald Eagles and a very beautiful Red-shouldered Hawk. In addition to our resident Mute Swans we continue to see on the lake Buffleheads and Common Goldeneye. The Ring-necked Ducks and Hooded Mergansers seem to be gone but several pairs of American Wigeons just showed up along with a pair of Wood Ducks. We’ve also spied the muscrat back in business going to-and-fro.

3/5 Terry McQuillin- Just saw three Bald Eagles over Culver Lake…two juveniles and an adult. One of the young birds caught a good size fish and the other two chased it for a bit before flying away.

3/3 Karyn Cichoki- This past week we had our first male Cowbird of the year in the yard and the Dark-eyed Juncos have started their twittering. I heard American Robins, Eastern Bluebird, Carolina Wren calling when I took a walk down the street.

Hyper Humus – saw the pair of Bald Eagles mating in the tree next to the tree their nest is in. Then near the Rte 94 parking lot there was another eagle that had a dirty white head with brown feathers and no white in the tail. I could tell the male of the mating pair was a full adult but I didn’t get a good look at the female so I don’t know if there were 2 or 3 birds. Also heard Hairy, Red-bellied, Pileated Woodpeckers and Eastern Bluebirds calling and there was a pair of Hooded Mergansers on pond 1.

2/27 Karyn Cichoki- Lafayette – we had our first American Robins of the year in the yard yesterday. Every morning two male Red-winged Blackbirds join the usual group of birds under the feeder. They calls from the wet area down the street from us are joined by the singing in the yard by the House Finches, Northern Cardinal, Song Sparrow and Carolina Wren.
We drove up to the Sussex/Wantage library yesterday and saw flocks of Common Grackles and Robins along the way.

2/23 Alice Piatek- About a dozen common grackles were feeding in our backyard on the suet and seed today, February 19

2/18 Karyn Cichoki- We had an immature Coopers Hawk show up this past weekend on our park benchCoops 2-14-20 c

2/18 Alice Piatek & Alan Gutmore- Sighted at Mahlon Dickerson Reservation in Jefferson on Monday, 2/17, 1 Red-tailed hawk, 1 Turkey vulture, 1 American crow.
On Russia Brook in Jefferson, 2 Mallards were sighted.
It was very quiet in both locations.

2/17 John Fuller- Snowy owl at bridge on quarry road up near Union Isle.
Did not stay long

2/17 Alice Piatek & Al Gutmore- Sightings today at Swartswood State Park included Red-tailed hawk; Fish crow; Mute swans; Canada geese; Common mergansers; Buffleheads; and Snow geese (?). It was very quiet there today.
On Main St. in Sparta, a northern mockingbird was observed.

2/14 Karyn Cichoki- On Wed we had 2 male Red-winged Blackbirds and a lone Common Grackles, with at least some Red-wings mixed in.
In previous years we get a Song Sparrow in the spring and fall, but last fall and through the winter we have had at least 4 hanging around almost every day.
Yesterday driving around I saw a huge flock of mixed blackbirds, mostly Grackles on Statesville Quarry Road in Lafayette.

2/11 Karyn Cichoki- We had our first male Red-wing Blackbird of the year under the feeder today.

2/11 Russ- I made the drive out to Westtown (NY) today (junction of County 62 & Lower Rd.) and got a brief 3-4 minute sighting of the Golden Eagle first reported Feb. 3rd on Orange County rare bird alerts (and in Middletown NY on 1/30/2020) Also had two Red-tailed Hawks in the same vicinity, and a third in Pine Island.

2/7 Alice Piatek- Visitors today included the usual gang – Dark-eyed juncos, Black-capped chickadees, Northern cardinals, Bluejays, White-throated sparrows, Tufted titmice, Downy and Red-bellied woodpeckers, White-breasted nuthatches and Mourning doves.  There was quite a flurry of activity.

2/5 Terry- As I was passing the pond by the fairgrounds I spied a single snow goose among the dozens of Canada Geese.

2/2 Deborah Bifulco- I am continuing to see large numbers of Snow Geese around Andover Township, including several thousand flying over the house this morning in huge skeins, filling the air with their sounds. Hard to tell if they are migrating or just moving around and I saw groups traveling north, west and south.
Yesterday I had my first Purple Finch of the year at the feeders, briefly. He was in with about a dozen American Goldfinches. The wild turkeys continue to visit daily, duking it out with the squirrels for the tray feeder. Interestingly, the squirrels will go after the hen turkeys, but not the toms.

1/22 Karyn Cichoki- Yesterday we had about 10 Cedar Waxwings in the yard and this morning a lone American Tree Sparrow.  The Red-bellied Woodpecker was drumming briefly on the gutter before he got on the peanut feeder.  I also noticed a American Goldfinch which had a very yellow chin and his black cap feathers starting to come in.

1/20 Karyn Cichoki- Yesterday, we had a lone Common Grackle hanging around the feeders.  It spent more time approaching them than actually feeding. I was watching one of the Cornell Lab bird cams that is stationed in Fort Davis, which is in western TX.  The feeders are being invaded by Pine Siskins.  Their feeders are very active with a variety of birds and it is very interesting to see some of our birds in western plumage.

1/19 Debra Bifulco- As usual, during the snowfall last weekend, my feeders were doing a landslide business.  Big numbers of Dark-eyed Juncos and White-throated Sparrows as well as 8 Northern Cardinals, a half dozen American Goldfinches (some showing signs of spring molt already), one Song Sparrow and 3 American Tree Sparrows.  The following day I had one Red-winged Blackbird, one Common Grackle and about 20 Brown-headed Cowbirds, in addition to all the regulars.  For the last month, I’ve had daily visits from six Wild Turkeys; three toms and three females/juveniles.  I usually always look before I go out, so as not to startle them away from the feeders.  The other day, however, I was rushing and didn’t look and when I walked out the back door, three turkeys took flight!  It was quite a sight to see – 3 galloping off into the woods while 3 landed high up in the maple and hickory trees. As of today, I still have one American Tree Sparrow and one Song Sparrow hanging around – these are species I only really see at my feeders during inclement weather.


1/18 Karyn Cichoki- Once it started snowing today there was a feeding frenzy at the feeders.  I was quite surprised to see about 15 female & male Brown-headed Cowbirds under the feeder.

1/18 Alice Piatek-  Our yard is filled with playfully clamorous feathered friends enjoying their meal throughout this day of falling snow.  Our visitors include:  4 male Northern Cardinals and 3 female Cardinals; 1 Carolina Wren; 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker; 1 Downy Woodpecker; 3 Mourning Doves; a dozen Dark-eyed Juncos; 1 House Sparrow; a dozen White-throated Sparrows; 1 Song Sparrow? (heavily streaked, dark breast dot, longer tail which he pumped up & down); 3 White-breasted Nuthatches; 1 American Goldfinch; and 2 Black-capped Chickadees.

1/14 Bob Cappuccio – On Jan. 14 the day I began my drive to Florida.  the fields along Rte 519 in Belvidere were loaded with thousands of snow geese.  Took a few photos with my cameraphone and posted on fb.

One of my former students who lives in that town said she has them every year. Numbers appear to be growing

1/2 Donna and Don- 2020 began with quality rather than quantity in our Frankford yard. The typical winter birds were enjoying the feeders but we were surprised to hear and see a belted kingfisher in the stream. Around 10pm an eastern screech owl was calling softly in the backyard. Additionally, we were treated with a great view of a barred owl at dusk on George Hill Road. Happy New Year!

1/5 Lee and Terry McQuillin (Culver Lake)- We have been watching lots of Bald Eagle activity and antics this morning. First  an adult female was eating a fish while sitting on the ice. She was joined by a male who sat patiently until she eventually let him have some of her fish. After he ate a bit they started “courting.” The courting consisted of lots of togetherness, head bobbing, and calling. Soon after, the juveniles flew in and began jousting—at one point there were five (looked like first year) storming each other.

1/8 Al Boyd- The eastern screech owl in our yard – which is featured on the club website – has reappeared after being absent for a year or so. At least I think it’s the same bird. It sits out in the hole most days even when the sun isn’t shining on it.IMG_2046.JPG